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December 7, 2014
Ga. emergency medicine residents get lesson in rescue training
By Bianca Cain Johnson
AUGUSTA, Ga. — As an emergency medicine resident at Georgia Regents University, Andy Hall usually gets his first look at crash victims at the hospital.
He and other GRU residents got a chance Wednesday to see what happens before a victim gets to the emergency room.
“We’re kind of spoiled,” said Hall, after working side-by-side with Augusta firefighters. “The measures are sort of drastic to get them extricated ... When they tell us it took 45 minutes to extricate now we know why.”
Capt. Gregory Hartshorne said the Augusta Fire Department frequently works with emergency medicine residents to give them exposure to “the other side” of emergency rescue.
During the event Wednesday morning, about 30 residents learned about removing parts of a vehicle, the equipment needed, the burden of being encumbered by firefighting gear and the difficulties in rescuing a person without causing spinal injuries.
While one group tore out the windows, doors and roof of a small, champagne-colored Saturn, another group practiced transporting one of their fellow residents from the driver’s seat of a white Chevrolet Malibu to a stretcher, and then to an ambulance.
“We see these patients on the other end and it’s real easy to get caught up with why we don’t get a better story,” Jennifer Guyant said.
The weight of some of the tools, like the 50-lb. hydraulic rescue tools, or “jaws of life,” were surprising to Carissa Chalut, who used it to pry open the Saturn.
At the end, the residents watched a real-time extrication. The exercise took about 15 minutes and included firefighters checking on the safety of the driver, removing all glass and the roof, and transporting the driver to an ambulance via stretcher. Another firefighter stood by with a hose in case of fire.
Firefighters and the medical residents said the exercise will help in providing better care in the emergency room.
“I think we under appreciated how much they go through to get a patient out of a vehicle,” Chalut said.